Without being conscious of it, you have fixed your position in society and your social panorama. This means that you always continue to be who you are, even if you want it to be different. The social panorama model is a psychological instrument with which we can change our unconscious map of social reality. In this model, interpersonal relationships are explained as cognitive constructions in mental space; we project people onto a mental location, and that location determines the quality of the emotional relationship. Problems with intimate relationships, self confidence, conflicts, power, families, teams, and organizations can be relatively easily analysed and solved with the help of the social panorama model.
You are in the centre of this ‘social panorama’; all significant people are projected on their own locations around it. The exact locations where the images of others are placed in someone’s social panorama have proven to be extremely meaningful. This lead up to the social panorama’s maxim: relation equals location. Or more precisely: the quality of a social relation is to a great extend governed by the spot where the inner image of the person is projected in mental space. (by Lucas Derks, founder of the Social Panorama)
My Social Panorama experience in Hong Kong
In 2006 I went with Lucas Derks to Hong Kong to attend a training on Social Panorama which was given by Lucas himself. The training was organised for consultants who are working in business and health care organizations. During the training I have seen amazing results by using this method. There was a Chinese man dealing with self esteem issues and slowly small changes were visible in his facial expression and his standing posture became more steady.
Furthermore I noticed a cultural difference with the Dutch culture. The Dutch express theirselves more in comparison to the Chinese. The Dutch share their opinions and emotions can be read off their faces. Generally speaking, Chinese people, who are born and grew up in China, don’t have strong emotional facial and bodily expressions. This means that as coaches we need to be more aware and take the time to guide them fully through the process. It was very interesting to see how acting upon these cultural differences made such a huge difference in the results.
Social Panorama as one of my coachingtools
I have used this method in my practice to the great benefit of my coachees. For example one of my coachees struggled with authority issues on the workfloor. She had problems with facing her manager when it came to salary negotiations or simply when they teamed up to discuss projects. She felt she couldn’t meet the high expectations of her manager. After I had guided her through the Social Panorama she felt herself being on an equal level with the manager and the high expectations she felt earlier weren’t that high in reality. She felt less dominated and her own feelings of being ‘not important enough’ changed for the better so that she was capable of meeting the expectations of her manager.
Read more about Social Panorama & see films on how it works on the website of Lucas Derks, Social Panorama.